My Birth Stories, part 1 | Easton, MD birth photogtapher
I thought it was about time to share my own birth stories with you! Of course, I’m going to start with Myla’s birth. The one that made me a mama.
I was one of the very fortunate ones that got pregnant the very first time we tried. Like literally the first time. I was so excited and was secretly hoping for a little girl but of course, would have been happy to have a boy. At the time, my great aunt was practicing as a midwife and who I had been seeing for my well-woman appointments so I wanted to stick with her as my provider.
My pregnancy was pretty textbook, nothing crazy. I was super tired in the beginning. Had a lot of food aversions and lost weight in the beginning but caught up by the end. This pregnancy is what changed my view of birth. I was always the type to think if I could have meds why wouldn’t I take them but I read Ina May’s guide to childbirth and was hooked on the idea of natural childbirth. I started reading birth story blogs and became a little obsessed with them. My best friend was a doula and she gave me so many resources and help too!
By the time I was in my 39th week and heading towards my due date I was pretty done with being pregnant but knew I wanted to go into labor spontaneously if possible. I remember waking up every morning and rubbing my belly and telling Myla that it was a beautiful day to be born.
I was due April 1st and on the 3rd we were going to the memorial of Jesus‘ death and I joked that my water was going to break during that and make a big scene. Thankfully I was off by about 10 hours!
I woke up around 5 with a pain in my abdomen, I thought it was because I needed to pee but while I was peeing it happened again and I realized what might be happening. I tried to go back to bed but I did exactly what I tell my clients not to do after about an hour of consistent contractions I got up and started pacing the house. At 7 Dust woke up and I told him what was going on. I also texted my parents and my midwife. I knew it was still going to be a while before I was going to meet my baby but I couldn’t relax. We decided to walk to the bagel bakery that was about a mile from our house and a walk we liked to do from time to time. My mom, of three but never had spontaneous labor, thought I was crazy and was going to have a baby on the side of the road.
In hindsight, I probably should have waited hours before I told my mom. She definitely put pressure on me to get to the hospital even though I knew it wasn’t time. I lived about an hour from the hospital and I didn’t want to drive an hour while in crazy active labor contractions so around 11 we decided to meet my parents in Easton and get lunch and walk around town a bit.
I bought Myla a little dress and my mom got her matching tights. We ended up at Home Depot where my dad decided to buy a chain saw haha. It was around 3 at this point and I decided it was time to get to the hospital. My contractions were very manageable but around 3-4 minutes apart.
The stress hormones that come into play while you're checking into the hospital and everything slowed my labor way down. It almost stopped completely for about 45 minutes. I decided to go ahead and have my water broken to speed things up. Shortly after that, my in-laws got to the hospital. From this point on it's all a bit of a blur.
I remember feeling good and we got out a deck of cards to play. I don't remember what game but not long after we started I couldn't sit still and had to move. We decided to walk the hallway a little bit. My family and inlaws decided to get dinner at the cafeteria. After a lap or two, I would have to stop and bed over onto the railing in the hallway during each contraction and we made it back to our room. We filled up the bathtub and I got in the tub and that's when labor got serious. Dust left the bathroom for a few minutes. Each contraction I would lay down in the water and sway my hips from side to side and I would beat the wall with my fist. I started a mantra, I don't remember if I repeated it out loud or just in my head but I would say "don't fear the pain, the pain is good" over and over. Dust came back into the bathroom and I was so hot from the water that I had to get out right that second. It was between 7-8 pm at this point.
I got dressed and I started pacing my room. My mom was in the room with us and each contraction I would look over and she would be all scrunched up wincing like she was in labor with me. I kept saying "why do I care" about not getting an epidural. Mom looked at me and said, why do you care?? And my husband shut her down because he knew it was important to me lol.
I started getting really tired so I was sitting on the birth ball and in between contractions I would sleep leaning on Dustyn. For each contraction, he would have to do the double hip squeeze. It was the only way I could manage the pain. I kept thinking about how tired I was. I knew first-time moms push for an average of two hours. I felt so tired there was no way I could push that long so when I started feeling pressure I kept my mouth shut, I was still on the ball and I stayed there for as long as I could. I know at some point I was in bed and leaning across the back of the bed because I remember my mom rubbing my back, and then picking at a bump, and then noticing the back of my earring was missing so she took that and then she was messing with my hair. I wanted her to be there, and I'm so glad she was but she makes a terrible doula haha!
Finally it was approaching midnight, I was back on the ball and I said I felt like I had to push. They very calmly said ok get in bed and we will see where you're at. Well Assoon as I could in the bed I pushed and they saw head, my midwife said I could reach down and feel her head. I did and I remember being like yeah ok just get it out please in my mind. I remember in a sort of out of body experience everyone rushing around me. The nurses and midwives gowning up and breaking down the bed. I pushed for a total of 10 minutes, 3 pushes. once her shoulders were out Penny, my aunt/midwife, told me to reach down and get my baby. I pulled her up and dust said I said "My baby!"
I almost forgot the best part. While pushing my mom, who had three children vaginally, totally freaked out. She was saying "oh! oh god! gross!" and things like that until I had to stop pushing and yell "Mom!" so she would stop! It was hilarious, later anyways!
Those golden hours were so wonderful. Another highlight was Dustyn telling me while I was pregnant the only thing he didn't want to do was look at the placenta, blood grosses him out. As soon as my placenta was born my midwife lifted it up for everyone to see and said "who wants to see the placenta!?" haha he was so grossed out. He's used to placentas now though. I did have a tear that needed stitches and that was so much worse than the birth itself. The first pee! don't get me started. That right there is why you need a doula.
I love telling my kids their birth story on the day of their birthday. We don't celebrate birthdays but it's a nice way for them to remember how they entered the world. Myla just turned 7 and I can't headly believe it.
I know this is a long post but I hope you enjoyed reading it! Micah's birth will be next!